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78 Weeks of Tarot: The Chariot


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For information on what these threads refer to, see this thread;

 

78 Weeks of Tarot - Informational Thread

 

The above linked thread gives suggested dates for the cards as well as links to the individual topics.

 

Some of us may be working through the study in a different order and using different decks. If you have general questions or comments regarding the 78 Weeks of Tarot study group, please post in the topic in the above link.

 

Have fun.

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Deck: Fairytale Tarot

 

Card name: The Chariot

First impressions:

 

I love the colors in this card. The chariot is a large, ornate sled, although it is traveling across the sky, from the upper left of the card to the lower right. It is pulled by two reindeer. Inside the chariot is a woman and a child. The woman is pale and wears a very fancy blue hat and a blue cloak of some kind. Her hair is under the hat. The child wears a red hat, green coat and yellow scarf. They are looking at one another. We can’t see much more of them than their faces. They are wrapped up in a white fur blanket. At the front of the chariot is a large bird -- maybe an eagle. There is a sun on the chariot’s side. On the back of the chariot is a face that looks like it has something coming out of its mouth. There are also six horn-like shapes coming up from the back of the chariot. They are flying over a winter landscape. Everything is covered in snow. You can see a little village with a church and some houses, some bare trees and in the background are large white mountains. It is either sunrise or sunset.

 

There is a definite feeling of purpose in the reindeers’ eyes. This isn’t one of those chariots that needs a lot of control exerted by the driver. It seems as though the chariot belongs to the woman, who doesn’t need to worry about what the reindeer are doing. They appear to be working together to get to a particular destination. The child looks like he trusts the woman. It’s hard to tell about her.

 

I don’t remember the story, obviously.

 

From the book:

 

Keywords and phrases: mental control; absolute focus, an iron will; triumph in conflict; power and control, perhaps to a ruthless degree; determination to direct things your way; driving roughshod over anyone in your way.

 

The Snow Queen is a force of nature. She is neither good or evil, has no conscience and takes no responsibility for any effect that her actions have on mere humans. Kai is swept up in her path, as we might be by the wind.

 

When we read The Chariot card, it makes no sense to ask if the willpower it so powerfully represents is good or bad. The force of will is always present in us -- and the extent to which we apply it and to what ends can bring about beneficial or malevolent outcomes. The story reminds us to think of willpower as emotionless.

 

Kai becomes like the Snow Queen from the shards of mirror in his eyes and heart. Gerda’s tears are able to melt his iciness.

 

The Chariot can stand for brilliant achievement and triumph or for a warlike determination to overcome all opposition and ride roughshod over any barriers. +

 

The original story:

 

The Snow Queen, by Hans Andersen

 

http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheSnowQueen_e.html

 

Traditional meanings:

 

Drive, will power, direction, ambition, confidence, victory, success, a journey, transportation, success with little or no support, overcoming obstacles, triumph in the face of adversity, coming to the aid of another, mastering a skill, driving force, impetus, energy. Scattered energy, lack of direction, taking the long way round, loss of will, drive & ambition, a cancelled journey or trip, a vehicle breaking down, needing the help of another.

My impressions of the card/story combination:

 

I can understand why Karen chose the story and the image on the card. The Snow Queen is a powerful force who gets where she’s going with no concern for anyone involved. Also, her sled makes a great Chariot. The focus on the Snow Queen as representing The Chariot, though, omits another, more positive representation of this card to be found in the story, namely Gerda. She is the one who travels far away and overcomes many obstacles to successfully rescue Kai from the Snow Queen, even though she is just a child. At one point a friendly reindeer seeks help for Gerda from a kindly Finnish woman, who then says to the reindeer, “I can’t give [Gerda] any more power than she already has! Don’t you understand how great it is? Don’t you see how men and animals must serve her; how else could she have come so far, walking on her bare feet?”

 

Then what the Finnish woman says gets a little weird: “But she must never learn of her power; it is in her heart, for she is a sweet and innocent child.” I’m not sure if she means that she will lose her power when she becomes an adult or what. But if we just consider Gerda in her role as a rescuer, I think she makes a very good representation of the positive aspect of The Chariot.

 

Another aspect of the story is the journey from childhood through adolescence to adulthood undertaken by both Kai and Gerda. Kai's coming of age, in particular, can be seen in the card's themes of will and ruthlessness. When Kai gets the shards of mirror in his eyes and his heart, he cruelly rejects Gerda and then physically leaves her behind. Perhaps The Chariot can also represent not only traveling through space but traveling through time, navigating the journey from one phase of life to the next.

My take (what I make of it/what I might see in a reading where I drew it):

 

I think I would see The Chariot as will, the power to see something through, the force that gets things done, the impetus that allows you to get from one place to another, whether in space or time.

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The Chariot - Everyday Witch Tarot (Llewellyn 2017)

 

Description:

A witch is driving a red vintage motorcycle with her cat in the side car. She wears a cool leather jacket and her pointed hat. She has stopped to stare at the confusing road signs.

 

What action is going on:

This is showing a pause in action. She has stopped her motorcycle and wonders what to do and where to go next. She is at a crossroads and she looks puzzled.

Images and Symbolism:

Red motorcycle. The side car is striped and looks a bit like a pumpkin!

Crossroads – always the realm of Goddess Hekate (-and some other liminal Goddesses)

Old wooden road signs saying: “This Way” and “That Way”

 

Colours:

Red -the motorcycle, beautiful, shiny, full of energy. One can almost hear the roar.

 

This card encourages:

-tackle the matter immediately, decisively and purposefully

-mastery of control

 

Warns against:

-arrogance

-not caring for others

-tour de force

-rushing in to anything

 

Traditional meanings (J. Bunning):

-Reaching your goal

-focusing your intent

-fixing on a goal

-having faith in yourself

-getting your own way

-showing authority

 

From the Book:

-Choose wisely, then move forward with confidence, knowing that you are capable of making the journey.

-Either way (at the crossroads) could have something wonderful at the end.

-The Chariot is about forward movement but more than that it is about staying in control as you move forward steering your own course toward your destiny.

 

Sallie Nichols: (in Jung and Tarot. An Archetypal Journey. Weiser 1984)

-“The Chariot pictures a state of ego-inflation..” or, in this card, what happens next; the girl was sure of the way until she arrived at the crossroads. She is about to acquire some humility which is necessary for any true hero.

-To set forth on any journey takes courage and equilibrium…There will be many pitfalls along the way. One of these might be to act out the journey on the external level only, and avoid the challenge of inner quest.

 

Notes:

-In many decks the chariot is moving fast forward and is often drawn by some animals. And very often the driver is a male warrior. This chariot is not drawn but is driven by a female witch. She has paused movement to wonder where to go next. Energy and movement are present, though, symbolised by the bright red vehicle that one can almost hear roaring.

Looks like she is the master of her own destiny since she is completely in charge. No animal/instinct is drawing her anywhere. She has wisdom and guts to pause and admit that she may be lost.

 

Quote:

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul

(Henley)

 

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Haindl Tarot - The Chariot

 

First Impressions:

 

There is more light, with brighter colors than the previous cards in this deck - giving it more energy. A figure stands on a large block, possibly of stone. The figure appears to be slightly transparent towards their feet. The block sparkles and is either gold, or is bathed in a golden light. The block sits on a chariot with the shape of a boat with wheels. The chariot is red and the figure is surrounded by a red light, which trails behind him. In the sky is what appears to be a wild pig or boar (though without tusks - so possibly young?). Also in the sky is a crescent moon with a point of light against the dark part of the disk. The border is dark blue for water. The red colors seem to indicate the passion and drive of the charioteer and the connection between him and the chariot. The sparkling, gold blocks possibly relate to the victory/gaining the prize?

 

Symbols:

 

Number 7; Refers to victory and triumph. According to other sources, I find the Kabbalistic connection to the physical world. As such the victory or triumph are in the physical realm.

 

Hebrew Letter; "Cheth" - meaning fence, especially enclosing a field. So it refers to the human mind taming nature. The fence suggests a safe area, including a town surrounded by a wall. With a fence or wall keeping wild nature out, we may feel safe, but only that fence keeps the wildness at bay. So, VII The Chariot represents the human mind or will fencing out, or triumphing over nature, the ordinary problems of life.

 

Rune; "Hagall" - "Hailstone". The shape references back to the #7; 6 points which represent the dimensions of physical objects (for example, a cube has 6 faces), the 7th is the center, the spiritual connection of the physical (found from my looking into the number on other sources). Pollack refers to this as "the pattern of the universe". Going beyond the "theme of civilization" but keeping the ability to bring "order to the chaos of life".

 

Astrological Sign; Cancer. This brings in a connection to water, along with the fact that the chariot itself "rides the waves" - connecting to the sea of the unconscious. Also the crab has a hard shell which protects it, just as the charioteers "psychic" fence protects him.

 

Element; Water. Symbolizing life and the unconscious mind. The chariot floats on the water, strengthening this connection.

 

Stone Blocks; The blocks are pitted with age, giving the image a feel of being older than civilization. But they also represent blocks as used to build the pyramids. As with the fence, these indicate human mastery over Nature. And yet there is no sense that we've conquered Nature. "The courageous mind - and the card is an emblem of courage - faces the world in all its power, seeking mastery over the self rather than the environment." ["The Haindl Tarot; vol. 1" by Rachel Pollack] The blocks also appear to melt near the bottom, uniting the "female" elements of Earth and Water. (No mention is made in the book of why the stones sparkle.)

 

Boat and Wheels; The boat rushes across the waves. It is colored red, representing energy. The wheels connect it to the Earth - again combining the female elements. The Chariot rushes forward, carried by the sea - symbolic of life, and so we see the presence of Death.

 

Charioteer; The charioteer is intentionally androgynous - being either/both male or female. She stands atop the rushing chariot, surrounded by fire and energy, but with arms spread wide, open to life.

 

"Mythical Beast"; The animal is a "mixture of boar and wolf." It rushes forward just behind the charioteer, its black mouth gaping. It represents our primal fears and instincts. It is surrounded by the color purple, representing the crown chakra. If we confront these deepest fears we can use them for energy which can be transformed into spirituality. The crown is the 7th chakra - 7 being the number of spiritual victory.

 

Moon; Also seen in The Magician, it represents the yin/yang normally represented in this card by black and white sphinxes or horses.

 

Meanings:

 

Upright: Strength of will - willpower in dealing with the issues brought up in the reading. If in a position representing the self, it can show that the person has the needed will to reach the desired outcome. The will to continue. Approaching a problem with determination. In a more negative aspect, it may be calling for a more passive approach, letting others lead. One's strength of will can become a hindrance in some situations. It can also represent some deep fear holding a person back.

 

Reversed: Lack of will. Passivity, weakness or indecisiveness when strength of will is called for. The person may lack the will or resolve to continue on the current path - in which case they should find a way to get out, or turn The Chariot back upright - finding the strength needed. In a more positive position it may show a need to step back & let go of something. Fears or anxiety may be controlling us.

 

My Additional Meanings:

 

Upright: Basically, I would add in the basic meanings of the RWS Chariot which didn't seem apparent in the book: Pulling together the disparate elements to bring about a "victory" of the sort indicated in the RWS. Confidence and leadership are shown in both cards as well. And these are all focused on a single goal, once it is reached, partnerships may fall apart. Single-minded focus on the goal, possibly to the detriment of other parts of the querent's life (for example their family).

 

Reversed: Defeat. Failure. Wasted effort. The team you were holding together breaks down leading to failure. A hollow, or unethical victory. Or having victory taken away (such as a person who was caught cheating). Giving up, possibly without trying. Over confidence can lead to loss. An accidental victory (a la "F Troop").

 

Final Thoughts:

 

The Haindl Chariot is very interesting in that; first - it is not as "masculine" feeling as the RWS Chariot, and - it doesn't strongly portray the bringing together/controlling the disparate elements shown by the two sphinxes in the RWS card. The use of will to control is still there, indicated by the figure controlling the Chariot with no apparent physical effort. Also, the charioteer is not encased within the stone block, as in the RWS - though they still seem to be trapped with no way down from the stone, trapped between their fears and their emotions (beast and the sea).

 

I was somewhat surprised, and a little disappointed that Rachel Pollack did not mention either the golden coloring of the blocks, nor the scintillation we see on them. This leaves me with the interpretation of these which I came up with at the first.

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tinyterrarium

Decks- The Fairytale Tarot by Magic Realist Press and the Fairy Tale Tarot by Lisa Hunt

 

Card Name and Fairytale

7 The Chariot "The Enchanted Horse"

7 The Chariot "The Snow Queen"

Visual Analysis

 

What are the possible symbolic elements?  (Alberti, 2011)

 

L.H.: Horse, road, dragon, mountains, and snow.

 

MRP: The color white, snow, two figures, bird and sun and the sleigh

 

 

How does the structure of a picture- or any visual art form- affect our emotional response? (Bang, 2016, p. xiv)

 

MRP: This image feels exciting to me. The diagonal line created by the sleigh and reindeer keep my eyes scanning up and down. Both objects are close to the picture frame and because there is no space between edge and object it emphasizes movement and I feel like I'm looking at a fleeting moment. The mountains, sleigh, and reindeer dwarf the small village below. While the snow and sunset give me a calm feeling, the reindeers and their sharp antlers make me uneasy. The close proximity of the boy and snow queen makes me wonder if he is being embraced or trapped. The scene depicted is when Kai is picked up by the snow queen setting into motion Gerta's adventure to rescue him.

 

L.H.: Lisa Hunt's chariot card also feels exciting tempered by the white background. The diagonal line of the soaring horse leads my eye up to the right corner. I circle back down to the somber face inside the mountain and then to the euphoric smoke dragon the left side. The s curve created by the road is another interesting element in the picture. I think the scene depicted is when the prince rescues the princess and returns home to be married.

 

 

Wisdom from the Hero’s Journey (Fiction, n.d.)

What lessons has the hero learned about him or herself on this journey? What are we (the spectators) supposed to learn from the journey?

 

Hans Andersen's "The Snow Queen" had two main characters, Kai and Gerta. I consider Gerta to be the hero because she actively leaves home to rescue Kai and succeeds with the help of mentors. At the end of the story Kai and Gerta return home as adults. It made me think of childhood as a series of mishaps, distractions and remembering what is important. Gerta's fortitude was the driving force in the story.

 

"The Enchanted Horse" left me with more questions than answers. The horse is a tool and becomes interesting when a human has a desire. The theme of father's trading daughters for powerful magical objects showed up in the story. The hero was a prince who believed in free will . He rescues his beloved from a king who plans to marry her against her will. The second theme was the Prince's responsibility to his father and the princess. The question that lingered most in my mind is how do we go about getting what we want.

 

Questions

 

Interpretation

Rachel Pollack “When I do readings for myself- contrary to popular belief, most Tarot readers read for themselves all the time- I do not try to uncover or make predictions, but instead, seek the wisdom of the cards. Because they “speak” in pictures, we can ponder what they say for a long time. Here are three questions, simple yet challenging.

 

What do I know?

 

I know the chariot is associated with control and determination.

 

What have I forgotten?

 

The chariot is a process. You have to be willing to check your intentions when you want control in a situation or when you are determined to reach a goal. Inevitably when the obstacles come you have to remember what it is that you really want.

 

What do I need to know and must never forget?

 

Victory requires a journey and anything worthwhile takes time to accomplish. I hope I enjoy the journey and use love to power me through obstacles just like Gerta. I hope if I find myself trampling over other people to get what I want that I remember the Prince and how honorably he used the enchanted horse.

 

References

 

Alberti, G. (2011). Symbolism within the Tarot and Comparative Visual Analysis: A Proposed Methodology for the Study of the Tarot as Applied to the Ride Waite Smith Deck. Retrieved from conservancy.umn.edu: https://conservancy.umn.edu/handle/11299/116801

 

Bang, M. (2016). Picture This How Pictures Work. San Francisco: Chronicle Books LLC.

 

Fiction, K. G. (n.d.). Science Fiction Writers Workshop: Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. Retrieved from http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/Workshop-stuff/Joseph-Campbell-Hero-Journey.htm

 

Hunt, L. (2009). Once Upon a Time. Woodbury: Llewellyn .

 

Mahony, K. (2005). The Fairytale Tarot. London: Magic Realist Press.

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Try something you've never tried. Throw away your atlas. Let yourself move. Trust your momentum. Release the past. Let your experiences be giddy and new. Let your opinions expand.

 

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Art by Ellis Driver

 

I have to say that as a Texan I have a lot of love for the art of this card. Pick up truck, loyal pup, and a big wide sky full of stars... I think I've been here before. But the art also reminds me of another place I've been: on the run from home. Similar to the feeling of the Fledging card, this card gives me a feeling of escape and a new path. Queer people everywhere (but especially the South) are familiar with the experiences of escaping our hometowns and the people there who held us back. The Chariot shows this a bit more self-assuredly than the Fledging, where--at least for the moment--our protagonist is feeling good about the choice they've made and the road ahead. They know what's waiting for them at the end of their journey, and that they have what it takes to get there.

 

Of course, I also get the more traditional feeling of physical force and accomplishment. Pick-up trucks are the vehicle of choice for many working class people (well, huge expensive Ford F-150s aside) and the image of this person lounging in the night on an empty truck bed makes me imagine them taking a well-deserved rest after a long day's work. Just like the Lover's before it, this is another card with a lot of symbolism that can be read differently from reading to reading.

 

Reversed: Anxiety about your next move. Feeling disoriented and rootless. Resist your urge to run, and stick with your connections instead.

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In all honesty have no set format for what I'm writing and am sure it will evolve over time as I continue to post my thoughts in the study group.  If I sound like I'm rambling that's because I am.  I will find my stride....

 

 

Deck:  True Black Tarot


Image Description:  The Chariot in the TBT is represented by a male figure wearing a golden cloak and a golden laurel wreath on his head. He is reclined in a position of rest on a throne of folded wings and is also ascending upwards with arms raised in victory. In one hand The Chariot holds a scepter symbolizing power and rule while in the other hand he holds a chain symbolizing control and authority. Two doves hold a veil aloft in front of The Chariots face.   

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Keywords Associated with The Chariot:  Success, Control, Ambition, Will, Victory

By The Numbers:  The Chariot is the seventh card in the deck and as a seven, this card is on a quest. In order to succeed, the quest requires focus and intention to drive the all forces towards the chosen purpose which is something a seven is adept at. This number is quite curious, intellectual and yet very spiritual and while it can be seen as introspective it isn’t an emotional number.  Inquiry, curiosity and pursuit of a greater deeper truth about life; that’s the seven.  

 

From My Notes:  In this card I see being in command of one’s destiny.  The Chariot on his quest is the sole driver of the focus and purpose, and yet it can only function as a sum of its unified parts.  Animal, cart, driver, wheels....either they work together to achieve a common goal or destroy themselves in the process.  When I look at the RWS system, The Chariot is quite literally sat in a car pulled by sphinxes of which one is black and one white. This reminds me that this is a card of contradictions that requires great will power and intention to bring it all together into forward motion.  The Chariot is truly a union of opposites.  Strong yet vulnerable.  Feminine and masculine.  Animals, driver and vehicle all must work together in concert to achieve the same goal or nothing gets done.  This requires the driver to have confidence, control and unity of purpose and to transmit that through his will to all the other moving parts.  That confidence The Chariot needs will come from focusing all of the lessons up to this point all of which I can see in the original RWS symbolism connecting Chariot back to the lessons of the first 6 cards.  But I don't feel like this is "I want it so I'll go get it" card.  There is great depth to it.  The veil that covers his face reminds me of that wisdom gained and the depth of knowledge that comes from an intuitive place taking this card beyond a superficial imposition of the will to a more masterful level of focus.

 

In A Reading:

In a reading The Chariot represents the conquest and victory over obstacles in your life.  You are headed in the right direction and on the path to victory.  This is achieved when the seeker becomes the driver of the chariot by deciding on a goal, taking control and getting all contradictory factors to agree to that goal.  Confidence, unwavering faith and the wisdom acquired on the journey thus far will help pave the road to victory.  Strong external spiritual forces are supporting the forward momentum here and The Chariot can assure success no matter the odds but it comes with the caveat. The warning that the drive towards victory might become a ruthless desire to win regardless of the cost.   As an upright card The Chariot is a great card of determination and confidence, motivation and leadership, focus and direction.  The discipline used here elevates you to a command position that demonstrates wisdom and patience.  

 

Reversed:  I really like using Benebell Wen's mnemonic for looking a card in a reversed position.  WIND (weakened, inverted, negative influence or delayed) works really well for me and I like the aspect that reversals provide.  In reverse, The Chariot that is normally motionless in the upright image would be in motion and upside down which to me would be a chariot that is out of control and going nowhere. Here the energy of the card is not focused, the external forces are not in control and the battle will be lost. It might even suggest giving into cowardice and hiding as opposed to facing the challenges in front of you.  In a weakened state it would be like driving with someone who has no sense of direction the only thing that is happening is spinning in circles going nowhere and perhaps even getting further away from where you want to be.   The water energy of this card is all dammed up and cannot move.  So the question now becomes what will it take to right The Chariot, change direction and charge forward with purpose?

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I really like your take on the card, @SheBeast, very inspiring! 

 

On 2/18/2021 at 4:36 AM, SheBeast said:

In all honesty have no set format for what I'm writing and am sure it will evolve over time as I continue to post my thoughts in the study group.  If I sound like I'm rambling that's because I am.  I will find my stride....

 

Yes, same for me! I feel it'll come clearer in the process. But I also found your post very coherent and not rambling at all! 

 

On 2/18/2021 at 4:36 AM, SheBeast said:

But I don't feel like this is "I want it so I'll go get it" card.  There is great depth to it.  The veil that covers his face reminds me of that wisdom gained and the depth of knowledge that comes from an intuitive place taking this card beyond a superficial imposition of the will to a more masterful level of focus.

Really interesting take on the card, with the veil and the two doves! beyond a superficial imposition of the will... I like that very much!

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The Chariot - Fifth Spirit Tarot

 

The card

The card shows a person doing roller derby, with their arms crossed they are looking at us, calm and with determination. Their two roller-skates, one black with white stripes, one white with black stripes are reminiscent of the yin-yang symbol in coloring, their brand name is Sphinx, their laces are floating and interlacing behind the person's head, nearly like Medusa's snake hair. Between the two skates is a grey knot - I think that is actually the sweatpants of the person - symbolically it ties the skates and their two colors together.

The person is wearing a helmet, with the apparition of a victorious laurel wreath and a star in white light around. On their helmet, is that a sticker with a pink triangle - as reclaimed by Act Up / Queer Liberation? I love their purple gradient hair, and the bright lipstick. They are wearing the number 7 on their arm, and a shirt with a sideways number 69, and they have several tattoos: a horse head, wings on the chest, a moon face, a sort of pin and disk thingie, a moon and triangle, a magic wand... Their elbows are bloody - this is someone who is used to falling, but getting up again. 

 

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Background and research

The sideways 69 is the astrological symbol for Cancer. The tattoos on the person are motives we find in many Chariot cards. The wings on their chest are on the Smith-Waite Chariot - they might also refer back at the wings that are often on the horses or animals that pull the Chariot (in the Tarot de Paris it is actually big bird, swans maybe, that pull the chariot). The disk and staff symbol is, as I learned from Rachel Pollack, called the lingam and yoni symbol, standing for the "masculine" principle of Shiva and the "feminine" principle of Parvati, unified in a single figure. The Moon faces on their arms (we only see one well) echo the face on the shoulders of many historic cards - I particularly love the ones on the Dodal - they are actually referring to the Urim and Thummim, faces as parts of the breastplate of the High Priest in Jerusalem, that were also used for divination, it seems. 

 

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(1 Tarot de Paris, Grimaud; 2 Cary-Yale Visconti Tarot, by US Games; 3 Tarot of Jacques Vieville, Heron; 4 Visconti-Sforza Tarot Mini deck by Lo Scarabeo; 5 Tarot de Marseille Nicolas Conver, Lo Scarabeo; 6 Tarot de Marseille Jean Dodal by Jean-Claude Flornoy; 7 Tarot de Marseille Jean Noblet by Jean-Claude Flornoy; 8 Bologna Tarot by Il Meneghello; 9 Thoth Tarot, Purple Box, by US Games; 10 Tarot of A. E. Waite AGM Deluxe Edition, 11 Fifth Spirit Tarot by Charlie Claire Burgess)

 

What does it mean to me

When I got my first deck, the Dodal by Flornoy, I picked The Chariot (or le charior as the card is called in this deck) quite intuitively as my name for the AT forum, and it has stayed my significator card, alongside the Page of Cups, ever since. I really connect to ideas that it symbolizes the human condition, with the Charioteer as will or rationality controlling the two animals as maybe opposing desires and urges. Only if all work together, can we get somewhere. The effort to keep it together. There is happiness in balance, in this, as Rachel Pollack calls it, "victory of the first line" of seven cards. (I find it very useful to look at the 21 trumps as 3 series of 7, as Pollack proposes, even if I believe it's not the only structure that makes sense). Victory, success, civilization - but also the danger of becoming stiff, of being too set in your ways, if you constantly try and control everything. 

The card in the Smith-Waite deck has elements from all cards coming before it, which I find really interesting and had never thought about it with the traditional iconography. I like how the duality that is present in the cards that come before here finds a first integration (black and white, "masculine" and "feminine" qualities etc). It's not resolved as it will be in The World, but integrated. From this integration through control and willpower in 7 The Chariot, over the ease of bringing duality together in 14 Temperance goes a line to 21 The World where duality dissolves in universality. 

Seven - in my personal understanding of numerology, is linked to a spiritual quest, a mystical and mysterious number, to gaining deeper knowledge. 

 

The Fifth Spirit take

I love how there IS no chariot in this card anymore - and also the tattoos on the person make it clear that we are The Chariot, with our body, soul and mind. The card respects and transports a lot of the meaning traditionally embodied, but updates it gently and I find very convincingly. I had it out a lot this week and it felt like a friendly, but no-nonsense presence, a friend that will give you tough love if necessary and call it as it is, but always be supportive. I am happy to strive to be that person, and will continue, also with this deck, to see this card as special for me. 

 

The Smith-Waite take

I never liked the replacement of horses with the two sphinxes in this card, it seemed too much connected to the idea that the Tarot came from Egypt, via some mysterious way, which I never gave much credit. It was interesting to see that already the Vieville does feature some human-animal hybrids, and that the Visconti had winged horses. I appreciate the image much more now, how it relates to all previous cards of the series through visual elements I found very convincing and interesting. Also: that is one handsome fellow, this Charioteer!

 

In a Reading

I shuffled the deck and did a "Lost Person" spread, looking for the card in the deck and the card before and after. 5 Cups - The Chariot - Strength. To move forward to the second line of the Major Arcana, I need to integrate feelings of grief, of loss, of fear. Strength in vulnerability - that's the lesson here for me as The Chariot. I might see myself as controlled, rational, happy and easy, but the control to keep it all together needs to be released into accepting and welcoming all emotions to find true strength, which is facing the darkness, not absence of it. (I feel the presence of 19 The Moon here as well, as often with The Chariot - what can not be controlled, what will break out at some moment...)

 

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Edited by le_charior
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le_charior I really like your format here.  A really nice flow of thoughts which is what I had hoped to achieve but ended up boxing things in neat categories instead.  Thanks for giving me ideas for next week!

 

Loved that you then used it in a reading at the end.  Really liked that and I loved your take on the card.  Wonderful!!

Edited by SheBeast
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The Chariot - Tabula Mundi

Child of the Power of the Waters, Lord of the Triumph of Light

 

Zodiacal trump of Cancer

 

Hebrew letter is Cheth (Fence)

 

Path 18 from 3 (Binah - Understanding) to 5 (Geburah - Severity)

 

Thoughts:

I love how dynamic this card is. It is hard not to get swept up in the movement of that water. Here our Charioteer is depicted as a surfer riding the pipeline. He is enclosed in a wall of water bringing the idea of the boundary/fence. The hippocampi are both light and dark, of sea and earth. Part of our brain is also called the hippocampus and is supposed to be linked with spatial awareness and navigation. 
They are symbolic of a heroic victory and are also wearing lunar bits highlighting Cancer’s link with the moon. The Charioteer carries the Grail which is a mix of the essences of the previous card, The Lovers. He moves in harmony with the water, navigating the ebb and flow with ease. 
 

It is a card which urges forward movement with triumph in sight. It is questing and seeking with eventual victory in mind. Ride with the tide for it is in your favour. 
 

 

9A930E94-D4BD-480F-AB7F-685DE282E113.jpeg

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On 2/22/2021 at 7:07 PM, Flaxen said:

I love how dynamic this card is.

I love this too, @Flaxen! The Chariot traditionally seems to be a more static card, weirdly, even if it is named and all about a moving vehicle. I have always thought that hints at the fact that if we focus too much on controlling everything, we get stuck. In the card you posted it becomes very clear: if there is no movement, no forward moment, to Charioteer will go under, literally! Thank you for sharing this one and your thoughts, inspiring!

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